Relational databases have been around for multiple decades, and there’s a lot of logic tied up in stored procedures that most organizations would rather not have to throw away or rewrite in some other form somewhere else.
Espresso Logic, a provider of a backend-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that turns stored procedures in a database into a RESTful API, addresses that issue. The Espresso Logic service supports Microsoft SQL Server 2005 databases and above, Oracle Database version 10.2 and higher, MySQL Database version 5.0 and higher and Windows Azure SQL.
Espresso Logic CEO R. Paul Singh says the function is now automated to the point where it can be accomplished in a matter of seconds. A task that once took developers weeks to accomplish can now be accomplished in seconds. Stored procedures are cataloged when Espresso inspects the schema. Security is overlaid on the stored procedures just as it is on tables and other REST endpoints. Features include the ability to call stored procedures with any number or type of parameters (input and output) including multiple result sets and REF CURSORs.
One of the major challenges facing IT organization is how to expose the massive investments made in stored procedure calls to the outside world. Most of that code was originally developed for internal usage. But with the rise of the API economy, organizations increasingly have a vested interest in exposing that code to the outside world.
The challenge is that too many developers are unaware that the functionality they are looking for already exists inside the enterprise, Singh says. Of course, the reason they are unaware of it is that database administrators (DBAs) have lacked any effective means of making it accessible.
There has been little love lost between developers and DBAs over the years, with the former frequently end-running the DBA by employing the services of a NoSQL database. The use of the NoSQL database is warranted in most instances. But in some cases, the developer is reinventing functionality that already exists in a relational database. The problem is that the stored procedures where that logic resides has been fairly inaccessible.
It’s not clear that providing the ability to access stored procedures via a RESTful API is going to lead to a rapprochement between developers and DBAs any time soon. But the fact that the capability exists should finally give the two camps a starting point towards having a much more productive conversation.